June 19, 2013

Arcane - In The Beginning

I've spent a lot of hours this spring searching for a steep crag that will offer a place to go and escape the summer heat; even if it's just shade during the second half of the day. The Fins by Howe offer some of the best nearby summer cragging and is a favorite for locals as well as traveling climbers. Undoubtedly, the Fins are the area's finest crag - however, for me, it lacks steeper angles, which is something i enjoy more than good stone.

I stumbled onto at a very promising crag in the Lemhis that i dubbed Elysium. It offers a variety of angles, cool summer temps, and an outrageously gorgeous camping spot at the trail head. Despite being relatively close to home (about 100 miles), i decided to revisit a small potential arcane crag i looked at a few years ago.
J. Watson bolting at Arcane
The 16 miles from my front door to Arcane was the deciding factor as to which crag i would focus on developing this summer. Of course it is the typical dirty, loose, and chossy eastern Idaho basalt which will require huge amounts of effort, sweat, and epoxy to establish routes.... but the angle of the wall, the difficulty of climbing it will provide and the summer-friendly afternoon/evening shade will be just what i'm looking for.
J. Watson sequencing the "warm-up" route
Currently there are 2 mostly completed route and is just awaiting some epoxy work to be "finished". In total, i envision this small sector hosting a dozen routes ranging from 40' to 70'. Given the angle, nature of the holds and sequence intensive movement, it is likely the majority of the routes will be extremely difficult.
The not so steep portion of Arcane!
Once we get a few more routes in and ready for people to try, i'll get the crag info out so anyone interested can check it out. In the meantime, Arcane is under construction. Not to mention, we need to figure out what's in the "Hissing Hole" which guards the entrance to the upper ledge!

To be continued....
Quickdraws Hanging!